Your ad here

Garden of Lights @ Emperors Palace review, Kempton Park (JHB East)

This is a bit of a different review, because it pertains only to the Festive Season.
Even so, it is a seriously worthwhile one to check out with the kids these holidays - guaranteed to be a fun evening out for all.

Date last visited

December 2011

Location and Setting

Emperors Palace Hotel and Casino, 64 Jones Road, Kempton Park, Johannesburg.
You can find directions and a map on the Emperors Casino website here.

For the kids...

As Christmas approaches, kids just love all the lights and decorations that go up to celebrate the season.
Driving around at night, it is great to see South Africans getting into the spirit by lighting up their houses and gardens... sometimes in the extreme!

Emperors Palace cottoned onto this idea in a huge way in the past, and thankfully they have done it again this year - we heard a lot about the Garden of Lights from friends, so we had to check it out for ourselves.
Don't be put off if the queue is long - it moves quickly and the wait is well worthwhile.

Once you are inside (entrance is free, donations are welcome and go to charity), you are greeted by a fairytale night garden filled with thousands of coloured lights, reindeers, elves, christmas trees and even a host of interesting folk - the kids can have their photos taken with Santa, Cinderella or Captain Hook, and even sit down for a tea party with Alice and the Mad Hatter :)

The sound of familiar Christmas songs and carols also fills the air as you walk along the garden path, something which just adds to the atmosphere of the place.

Although Emperors Palace certainly has enough in terms of food and drink when everyone gets hungry, the Garden of Lights itself has stalls where you can pick up eats, drinks, novelties, lights and other goodies that will have the kiddies begging you to buy :)

For the adults...

We enjoyed the lights probably as much as our little one did - even adults can appreciate good old Christmas cheer, especially when it is done as well as Emperors Palace have done it.

Make sure you take the camera along, as photo opportunities are all over the place - it feels a bit like a traditional scene from an American Christmas movie... minus the snow and the American accents :)
Speaking of photos, if you are one of those people who carries a half ton DSLR camera around your neck, then bring your tripod while you are at it - you will get some awesome long exposure night shots in the garden :)

A walk through the Garden of Lights will take at least half an hour if you take your time and enjoy it.
Once you are done exploring, you can always head into Emperors itself - there are a host of restaurants where you can sit down for a good meal, and the kids can head to the games arcade if the Garden of Lights has not depleted all of their energy reserves :)

Also, be sure to check out the amazing bronze statue at the entrance to the D'oreale Grande Hotel, which depicts a victorious Roman Emperor.
The statue, which weighs in at 8640kg, was sculpted in Arizona and is believed to be the largest, one piece horse sculpture ever created in bronze.

Anything else?

Entry is free, with donations welcome (to go to charity).
The Garden is open from 03 December 2011 - 03 January 2012, daily from 19:00 - 22:00 (weather permitting).

Final words

This is one of the must-do activities for the Festive Season, if you get the chance.
I would imagine that Emperors Palace will continue to run the Garden of Lights in years to come, because of how hugely popular it has become, but even so, get there while it is on now, just in case!

Getting in touch

(+27) 11 928 1000

(+27) 11 928 1001


Click here.


Mushroom Farm Park (also Hyundai Sky Park) review, Sandton (JHB)

When last did you go shopping at Sandton City?
Did you have the kids with you...?

If it was a weekend or a public holiday (or even better, Christmas shopping like now :) , then chances are that it was pretty crazy, as the mall tends to get from about 10:00 onwards!

It is at times like this that the Mushroom Farm Park (or Hyundai Sky Park) is ideal for a welcome break, away from the madness of the mall.

Date last visited
August 2011

Location and Setting

It is fairly hard to miss the Mushroom Farm Park in Sandton - just look for the huge Hyundai helium balloon!
The Mushroom Farm Park is situated just off Rivonia Road on Daisy Street, in Sandown, Johannesburg.

Click here for a map.

For the kids...
Shopping-drained kids are greeted by a huge sandpit, containing a wide variety of colourful jungle gyms, slides, swings and other play equipment, all guaranteed to excite the little ones and keep the adults exercising as they supervise playtime :)

If it's a walk (or a run) that the kids are after, then there is more than ample space for them to scoot about and use up those energy reserves.

There is a very picturesque setting as you walk down towards the dam in the park, and as you cross the wooden footbridge, you might be forgiven for thinking you were somewhere far off in the country, and not right in the middle of Sandton!

The Hyundai helium balloon (similar to the one at Montecasino) is also sure to attract attention, wide eyes and fascination from the kiddies.
The balloon is operated by Aerial Displays in partnership with Hyundai - for more info on balloon rides click here.

For the adults...
The Mushroom Farm Park reminds me of what parks in Johannesburg used to be like when I was a kid.
Bombela have done a fantastic restoration job, after the park was used as a temporary shaft during construction of the Gautrain - it is beautifully landscaped, and it incorporates a walkway that takes you around the entire park.

For the bird watchers out there, there are also about 80 different species of birds who flock around the dam.

According to the Hyundai website, we should also soon see a coffee shop on the premises, but in the meantime, a good old picnic basket will do the trick!

Anything else?

Access to the park is controlled by security guards, and entrance is free.
The toilets are clean and well maintained - always important!

Final words

For a reprieve from the craze of Sandton shopping, the Mushroom Farm Park is high up there on my list.
The fact that the park balloon is sponsored by Hyundai, and the presence of the Radisson Blu Hotel right next door, ensure that the Park is definitely on the up and up.

Getting in touch

One of our readers got in touch with us recently and sent us this number as the primary contact for Mushroom Farm Park:

+27 (0) 11 784 6881

We gave them a call to confirm, and it is indeed the right number.
@Anonymous - thank you!


your ad here

Want to advertise here on Plebs with Kids?
Drop us a mail for further info.

About Plebs with Kids

Plebs with Kids visits mainly JHB-based venues, coffee shops, restaurants, play areas and other such establishments.

We rate their kid-friendliness (among other things :) for your convenience, and for the next time you need a place to go, while knowing that your little ones are well catered for.

your ad here

Want to advertise here on Plebs with Kids?
Drop us a mail for further info.

Places we have visited

View Places we have visited in a larger map



The owner of this blog does not share personal information with third-parties nor does the owner store information that is collected about your visit for use
other than to analyze content performance through the use of cookies, which you can turn off at anytime by modifying your Internet browser’s settings.
The owner is not responsible for the republishing of the content found on this blog on other Web sites or media without permission.

Blog Comments:

The owner of this blog reserves the right to edit or delete any comments submitted to this blog without notice due to:
1. Comments deemed to be spam or questionable spam
2. Comments including profanity
3. Comments containing language or concepts that could be deemed offensive
4. Comments that attack a person individually

Terms and Conditions:

Plebs with Kids is independent, and is not affiliated to any of the establishments being reviewed.
All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only.
The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site.
The owner will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information.
The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.

This policy is subject to change at anytime.

  © Blogger template Shush by 2009

Back to TOP